Things that got me thinking 1

Thought I would start the week by sharing some of the things that I have been reading that have got me thinking.

Roger Olson is always an interesting person to read and he blogged a new reading list plus some insight into his current writing projects. You can find it here.  All look good and interesting. He is also referenced in a book that I have just got exploring the boundaries and tribes of evangelicalism which also looks great- ‘Four views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism’

I was challenged by another blog on how to explain the concept of sin to my friends. Ir made me realise that I haven’t done a whole lot of that. I tend to try to explain the concepts of grace, love, faith and God’s wonderful, welcoming invitation to relationship. It got me thinking about whether I was short changing my friends or whether the concept of sin is so alien in our culture that to lead with it will just alienate rather than convict. Still not sure what I think about this. All wisdom welcome!

My most challenging reading by far this week was this article from Andrew Perriman which critiques the theological meta-narrative of creation, fall, redemption and new creation. In my circles this is a very common approach to providing a structure for understanding the sweep of the biblical story. It is also a powerful approach helping to apply the Biblical story to all manner of situations. So to have it critiqued so strongly has really got me thinking. In particular Perriman argues that the focus on new creation is a misplaced eschatology that actually draws us away from  the real life living, believing, suffering and enduring that we are called to. It disengages us from the problems and realities of our world with the dream of a future new creation rather than presenting the new creation as an inspiration to persevere in the realities that we face. Now I am not sure that I buy this because it obviously depends on how you tell the story and how you use the story. The creation, fall, redemption and new creation framework has provided me with an understanding of why things are wrong, a powerful hope for how things can be better and a compelling reason to engage deeply with poverty, injustice and pain. What Perriman got me thinking about was the unintended consequences of a particular view or presentation of the biblical story. How we can develop blind spots and inaccuracies without meaning to and why it is always important to keep in dialogue with critical friends. Iron does indeed sharpen iron.

My final favourite read was from Jamie the Very Worst Missionary. She is always challenging and stimulating and this post about finding God in the ordinary of our lives is no exception. It has challenged me to live this week differently.

What has been making you think?